My husband and and I camped one night at this newly reopened park over the weekend in Long Island just to check it out and were pretty disappointed by the tent camping area. There are 69 tent/trailer sites(no hook ups). There is no distinguishing separation between each site nor a designated driveway for your car- you merely pull up on the grass. It's basically like camping in your local city park. People park wildly all over the place, which also makes it more difficult to determine which site is which by the number painted on the roadway. Each"site" has a picnic table and an barbecue grate on a post. There is one bath/shower house in the center of all of these sites with no path provided for folks to walk to and fro, so naturally people will walk right through your site randomly rather than around the road. While the bathroom building itself is in decent shape and has a large amount of toilet stalls and about five showers, the condition of women's room was absolutely ghastly inside.
At some point during the evening, a maintenance worker on a golf cart showed up with a mop and some cleaning supplies and cleaned the men's side of the building. I was so relieved when I saw him, but he seemed to neglect the women's side completely, so I resorted to using the men's facilities all night.
There are no fire pits on any of the sites, although I learned afterwards that they do allow you to bring your own metal fire pit as long as it is elevated off the ground. There are large dumpsters located throughout the camping area and a large trash bag is provided (if needed) at the camp office when you check in.
The highlight of Heckscher State Park is the newly constructed heated cottages located on the shore of Nichol's& Great South Bays.. There are currently 11 cottages--- with more under construction. There are cottages suited for two, four, and six people and range in price from$225-$285 per night during off peak seasons and$250- 320 per night during the peak seasons.
The cottages are fully furnished, with a full kitchen and large bathroom with a walk in shower. The cottages are a short walk from the beach and also include a fire pit with Adirondack chairs and an outdoor shower on the exterior each property. I do not have photos of the inside, but they do have them on the Reserve America website if you are interested.
While the cottages are lovely and their location is fabulous they are quite pricey and no TLC was spent in the$22 tent/rv camping area, other than a new registration office which is not yet completed as of this weekend. I do hope they invest some funding in the primitive area to add fire pits,more water spigots, clearer site markings and for the continued maintenance& upkeep of the bath/shower house.
* I emailed the parks departement about the issues mentioned above about the camping area and received this reply:
I am sorry that you are upset with the conditions in our recently opened campgrounds. We have replaced all of the picnic tables. Although, they may look old because they are weathered since these picnic tables were put together during the Winter, however, they are brand new. All of the barbeques are also new and were installed during the Winter. We have changed and modernized the light fixtures and we will be replacing the rusted doors that you mentioned. There are also plans to install a playground within the campground beginning this Fall and we are looking for other improvements and additions to the campgrounds. As you probably noticed there is a new building under construction, at the entrance to the campgrounds, and it will serve as a check-in area, as well as, additional comfort stations, including family restrooms. Your suggestion of fire pits is a good one and the Park Managers will evaluate the feasibility of installing these. Lastly, I have spoken to the Park Manager who will review the cleaning operation to ensure the restrooms are appropriately maintained. I apologize for our employee not cleaning the women's room. Again, I am sorry for your negative experience but we are continuing to make improvements to the campgrounds.
Sincerely, George Gorman Regional Director New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
I will check back later this year to see if anything was changed and report back.